'Smart stethoscope' to visualize heart sound, cardiac abnormalities
HD Steth works via real-time Bluetooth transmission of cardiac waveforms to a smart phone or tablet.
A smart stethoscope that has the ability to capture and visualize heart sounds and cardiac abnormalities has been launched at the ongoing Arab Health 2018 in Dubai.
Called HD Steth, the smart stethoscope features integrated ECG or electrocardiography for instant and accurate cardiac diagnosis. The ECG integration enables the doctors to "see, hear and record both heart and lung sounds for real-time collaboration, comparison and future diagnosis."
Speaking to Khaleej Times, US-based Indian engineer Arvind Thiagarajan, CEO of HD Medical and inventor of the HD Steth, said HD Steth works via real-time Bluetooth transmission of cardiac waveforms to a smart phone or tablet.
"Patient data can be captured and shared with other doctors and specialists for optimum treatment, insurance companies and electronic medical record systems. HD Steth enhances the accuracy of diagnosis, saves precious time and improves outcomes," he explained.
The HD Steth is currently priced at $500 and is available only in the US market but Thiagarajan said the smart stethoscope will be available in the UAE "sometime in the second quarter of this year" after getting approval from the health authorities.
Thiagarajan emphasised that the main selling point of HD Steth is its "AI (artificial intelligence) and predictive analytics to assist medical professionals with early detection and to enable connected, continuous and collaborative care."
He noted that early detection of cardiovascular disease (CVD) is very important to prevent child morbidity. "HD Steth is capable of addressing today's evidence-based medical environment.
"In India for example, there are around 300,000 infants born every year with CVD and 90,000 of them don't even survive or reach their first birthday. That's a staggering 300 deaths per day," Thiagarajan said.
"The problem is many doctors can't detect those soft hums that are actually signs of CVDs," added Thiagarajan, who himself was diagnosed with a heart murmur at a young age.
He added that heart specialists are also rare, "even in developed countries like the US, where there are only approximately 30,000 cardiologists or only one specialist for every 10,000 people. The ratio is definitely worse in developing countries."
Thiagarajan said HD Steth is designed not just for cardiologists but also for general practitioners and nurses. A version for home health care will be rolled out next year.
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